Monochrome Mondays

Well it is really starting to warm up where I live after a few false starts, which means it is good to get out on the water. As I think I have said before, I like being near the water year round, but lets face it-summertime is the best. Last Friday I took advantage of a new ferry ride available in the city. It was such a beautiful evening, and I went right from where I work in Brooklyn all the way out to the Rockaways. My friend and fellow blogger Trudy did a great job describing what to expect from the ferry ride (and some great photos too!) so please read her post here.

Of course I had my camera with me and caught some great shots of all the bridges and  Rockaway Beach in my short time there. For more photos from the trip be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook (links below or to the right). Tempted though I was to stay longer,  I wanted to take the slightly longer return trip back to Manhattan while the sun was going down. It was just one of those beautiful nights to be out on a boat with the wind and the waves, not to mention a cold beer to boot! I took this photo just before getting back on the ferry from the pier in Rockaway. Something I thought of as I was taking it was that I love that New York City is not all about the buildings, cars and congestion. There is a surprising amount of nature-parks, beaches, and plenty of opportunity to be out on the water as well. Being out at Rockaway with the sun going down and the skyscrapers of Manhattan off in the distance (and humming a certain Ramones song) is a wonderful way to spend an evening I must say.

Rockaway Beach Pier

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Monochrome Mondays

I’ve always been a fan of optical illusions. Those subtle little works of art that play little tricks on the viewers eyes. They can be fun games to play with people. I’m sure everyone at some point has played the ‘is it a vase, or is it a silhouette of two people game’. Or stared at photos to reveal a hidden object after a period of time. Or tried proving that objects that are further away appear smaller (just like Father Ted once exasperatingly tried to do!). Here’s a list of some of the classic ones-http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_optical_illusions

Artists such as MC Escher, Salvador Dali, and Marcel Duchamp utilized various types of optical illusions as well in their work. As I said in my recent post Terra Firma, sometimes in the moments before you take a photo, you get a sense of where you are going with the shot. You know what you are after, and you just hope the technique and decisions you choose are the right ones. I remember when I saw this scene for the first time I had the vaguest sense of it being an optical illusion of sorts in the way the archway fades up towards the distance. What do you think? What are your favorite illusions?

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Monochrome Mondays

There are days (or evenings) when the most routine things look unique. Scenes you see day in and day out. But then you just look at them in a new way and think, that’s kind of cool! That happened the other night getting off the subway. Maybe it was the time of day and the shadows that were set against the sun. That is one of my favorite things about monochrome photography. It really highlights shadows. I couldn’t actually decide on just one photo so  for the first time here on Monochrome Mondays I’m sharing more than one photo!

Happy Memorial Day as well. Thank you to all who have served.

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Monochrome Mondays

Reflection. It is one of the most exciting and frustrating aspects to photography. It is difficult to get the balance just right. To have the camera positioned so one half of a photo is ‘above’ while the other half is ‘below’. It is also hard to get the clarity of the reflection just right. But when it is done right, the results can be very satisfying. I remember taking this shot last year in Cape Cod. I took the same shot in color and monochrome, but when I viewed them both, the monochrome shot had that little bit of ‘magic’ for me. Something about the reflection in this case seemed much more pleasing. Let me know what you think in the comments, and do make sure to follow me on social media. Links to the right or below the photo. Until next week!

Cape Cod Reflection

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Monochrome Mondays

Well after a week off for a business trip to Las Vegas, Monochrome Mondays is back again. I’ll have to make this one shorter than normal in its description, owing to the fact that I came into about 200 emails in my absence. Not to mention the remnants of a raging cold which kept me home almost the entire weekend. On Friday as I made my way home early in the morning-by monorail, subway, then taxi, the closer I came to our neighborhood, the more I could not wait to see the first signs that I was really home. Coming up out of the subway not feeling well, tired and bedraggled, bags straining at their seams I caught my first sure sign that I was almost home. Like most places in New York City, one only has to look up to know where you are. It is no different in my neighborhood, and in any direction I can see distinctive buildings, smokestacks or water towers to guide me. But coming up out of that subway the other day and while wearily hailing a cab to take me the rest of the way, I saw the slightest glimpse of the Queensboro 59th Street Bridge. And that’s when I knew I was home for sure!

Queensboro 59th Street Bridge

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Monochrome Mondays

Well yesterday was a fabulous spring day here in New York City. My wife and I took a stroll around Flushing Meadows Corona Park and enjoyed the sunshine, glorious weather, and all the beautiful flowers and trees in bloom. For those unfamiliar, the park was twice the site of a World’s Fair, first in 1939 and then again in 1964.  It was a great chance to see the icons of this park standing up close and personal such as the Unisphere, the NY State Pavilion, and the Queens Museum. My favorite is definitely the Unisphere, designed for the 1964 World’s Fair by Gilmore D. Clarke. Though it looks impressive every time you drive by on the highway, up close it really takes on a new meaning. Representing the budding space race at the time of construction, to me it takes on an entirely new meaning these days. The entire borough of Queens is probably the most diverse area not just in New York City, but all of the United States. Perhaps even the world. Walking around on a beautiful spring day seeing people from all corners of the world barbecuing, riding bikes, skateboarding, playing soccer or even cricket reminded me that the planners of that World’s Fair chose very well indeed when they added the Unisphere to remind us we all live on this one planet.

The Unisphere

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Monochrome Mondays

Normally Mondays are not so happy for most of us. Today however is a good Monday, since I am off today and tomorrow! But I still have some work to do…such as share with you a new Monochrome Mondays. In the case of one thing leading to another, the other day I changed my profile photo on Facebook to one from Ireland last summer. After selecting it, I scanned through some of the other photos I took, when I came across this one again. For all the natural beauty of Ireland, it is also a place where you are easily reminded of it also being a place where people work hard, and the landscape often shows evidence of it. Piles of turf, or hay bales abound. So do little boats, which seem to be everywhere near the coast. I walked one day down to a tiny little pier in Kilcar, Donegal. By no means was it a beautiful scene, and with the tide in it had that not so attractive smell! But the contrast of this little boat, leaning to one side, while looking towards the town was too appealing for me not to take this photo.

Low Tide, Donegal

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